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18th SWCA WELCA Convention Report


Report of the Eighteenth Convention of the Southwest California Synodical Women’s Organization
of the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The weekend of October 14 – 16, the women of the Southwest California Synod met in convention at the Grand Vista Hotel in Simi Valley. The Eighteenth Convention of the Southwest California Synodical Women’s Organization of the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America opened and closed with many activities occurring. The theme: “Blessed to Be a Blessing” centered around Genesis 12:2 NRSV: “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.“   Sharon Heck’s granddaughter Sarah Heck created the banner with the theme.

The goals of the convention were:

  1. Conduct the business of the Southwest California Synodical Women’s Organization.
  2. Inspire us to do a Random Act of Kindness.
  3. Move us to act boldly on our faith.
  4. Open our hearts and minds to hear Your call.

Sermons, Worship, Bible study, workshops, discussions, closing worship, and open forums implemented these goals. Bible study leader was Pastor Erin Martinson, who is also a healer who helps individuals and groups create connections for facilitating wholeness in ourselves, our communities, and the earth, in fun, creative and healthy ways. This weekend we heard about many blessings. Chaplain was Pastor Nancy Switzler, who has been a second career pastor at Our Redeemer in Oxnard fortune for the past six years, and who led us in prayer and our worship service.

Anna Sarver, Churchwide Women of the ELCA Representative, brought greetings from Churchwide to the assembly. Triennial Gathering Promoter, Karen Ronchetti, brought the assembly the Triennial Gathering information and encouraged all to attend July 14 – 16, 2017. Joyce Opjorden served as our Parliamentarian.

Business of the convention involved election of officers, board, and Triennial voting members. There were opportunities to attend workshops such as LOPP – November Ballot Information, lead by Mark Carlson; the Gun Violence Prevention Synod Task Forc; Faith, Sexism, Justice: Conversations toward a Social Statement, led by Dixie Hanson; How to navigate the WELCA Website, lead by Karen Moyer; and Prayer, Care and Share lead by Robin Tribbitt.

Saturday night banquet entertainment was Si’gn’lent Prophets, a sign language ministry under the direction of Mr. Darvis Quinn and supervision of Mr. Mark Coates with members of Ascension, Los Angeles and Holy Trinity, Inglewood. The ministry spreads the Good News message of Jesus Christ through sign language of popular gospel music.

Many standing committee reports came to the assembly. There were many vendors such as LSS, CLU and PLTS, the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force , Bookstore, LWR Fair Trade Market, and African Team Ministries.

The voting members of the convention elected the following: Karen Moyer, President; Rosemary Lawson, Vice President; Dianne Tillman, Secretary; Karil Drake, Treasurer; Board Members: Sharon Heck, Keia Morris, Terri Kelly, Kristal Shipp, Pastor Donella Silveria, Mary Ridenour French and Dona Kintzi; Triennial Voting members: Karen Moyer, President; Keia Morris, Member at Large; Mary Shipp, Women of Color; Diana Craig, First Time attendee.

Many more fun activities occurred during the convention. Come some time, you might like it! Many thanks to all who make this convention possible especially Robin Tribbitt, Program Coordinator and Julie Jensen, Facilities Coordinator.


Many thanks to our out-going Board Members: Claudia Cuevas, President:, Lillian Simons; Janet Simmons; and Mary Shipp. Also pictured is Churchwide Rep Anna Sarver.
The 2016 – 2017 Board: Sharon Heck*; Mary Ridenour-French*; Dona Kintzi*;Dianne Tillman, Secretary; Karen Moyer, President; Rosemary Lawson, Vice President; Karil Drake, Treasurer; and Terri Kelly*. *Board Members
The 2017 Triennial Voting Members: Karen Moyer, President; Diana Craig, Mary Shipp and Keia Morris, missing from the picture and Anna Sarver, Churchwide Rep.